BEARSPACE is pleased to present Abbi Torrance and Paul Ridyard in FORM vs FORM: an exhibition bringing together their unique practices to investigate the construction of perception through social and romantic ideologies and formations.
Both Torrance and Ridyard show new work: large scale figurative drawings inspired by synchronised swimming formations by Torrance on graph paper, and deeply intricate knarled tree roots and natural phenomenon drawn and mounted by Ridyard.
FORM vs FORM triumphs drawing as a revelatory and relatable medium, exposing the tension between the organic and the highly controlled aspects of contemporary society. Torrance and Ridyard create a paired down and clean aesthetic, instigating a rebirth for drawing in an image and media heavy world.
Drawing is used to tackle questions of heterogeneity and connectivity in a diverse world where plants and even people can be ‘reduced to a pattern’ (Torrance). Deleuze and Guattari write in A Thousand Platteaus, ‘Make a map, not a tracing...what distinguishes the map from the tracing is that it is entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real’ (D&G, 1987). It is in this way that both artists engage with their subjects, not through mimicry but by constructing specific viewing experiences of real situations and phenomenon.
Torrance’s work examines how society puts ideologies into action which influence and determine the independence of individuals. Torrance uses the way that large corporations see individuals as data and demographics to transform groups of people into choreographed formations, highlighting the current social landscape. Torrance is a previous prize winner of the Teddy Smith National Art Competition, has been featured by Dazed and Confused, has been exhibited in Hung, Drawn and Altered curated by Baylors & Diamond and has been awarded the Commissions East Grant for intervention projects.
Ridyard’s practice explores what constitutes the natural and the manmade, creating drawings which challenge our existing encounters with landscapes. Ridyard seeks out specific sights such as exposed roots and work from photographs constructing pieces which simultaneously allow and obscure the viewers’s perception, demonstrating an inability to fully comprehend our surroundings. Ridyard has shown work in a number of group exhibitions in London, at The London Art Fair and Affordable Art Fair, and has undertaken several research trips throughout Europe and America.
Both artists recently completed their MA at Wimbledon College of Art and live and work in London.